Nicolas Kozakis is a painter and sculptor with a special interest in architecture and public space. His work consists of installations as well as videos and photography that question – through the contradictory combination of materials, symbols, images and words – the conflicts of our existence. Interested in topics such as consumerism and memory, Kozakis's work sets out to trigger increased vigilance of our visual and conceptual perception, which he hopes allows for a reassessment of our relationship to the world.
Raoul Vaneigem (b. 1934, Lessines) is a writer, philosopher, and one of the key thinkers of our times. He is best-known for his 1967 book The Revolution of Everyday Life, which was influential in the thinking of the Situationist International, a group of prominent artists, theorists, intellectuals and social revolutionaries active in Europe between 1957 and 1972. Vaneigem proposed a poetic approach to social order and critiqued the capitalist system and modes of production. He was a frequent editor of the journal Internationale Situationniste, and his slogans were often used in the uprisings in Paris in 1968. Since that time, he has written a number of books that defend the idea of a free and self-regulating social order.
Since 2012, the two have been collaborating on a series of films where the contemplative flow of black and white video footage by artist Nicolas Kozakis is overlaid with texts by philosopher and writer Raoul Vaneigem, together forming a plea, at once poetic and political, to pause and rethink the world away from its present impasses. The striking imagery originates in stunning but also mundane landscapes in Greece, while the texts talk about the impasses and challenges humanity is now facing: from the effects of aggressive capitalism and rising economic and social inequality to environmental issues and existential concerns relating to contemporary anxieties. Together, the films reveal the need to circumvent the limitations of our frenetic everyday lives by slowing down and rediscovering the more humane constellation of being together.
Vaneigem has published numerous books, including: The Book of Pleasures (1979); The Movement of the Free Spirit (1986); Pour une Internationale du genre humain (1999); Déclaration universelle des droits de l'être humain (2001); Pour l'abolition de la société marchande. Pour une société vivante; Rien n'est sacré, tout peut se dire (2003); Ni talion ni pardon (2009); De l'amour (2010); L'Etat n'est plus rien, soyons tout (2011); Lettre à mes enfants et aux enfants du monde à venir (2012); Rien n'est fini, tout commence (2014, with Gérard Berréby); De la destinée (2015).
Kozakis's solo and group exhibitions include: Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels (2017); The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating, Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels (2016); MUSEUM = K (x+y)/D, IKOB – Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst – Eupen (2016); Rolls Royce Infinity Black Met, Kusseneers, Brussels (2015); MAM Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art, Vienna (2015); Jardiniers Terrestres Jardiniers Célestes, VII Biennale Internationale d'Art Contemporain de Melle, France (2015); Les Mains Libres – Espace 251 Nord, Liège (2015); Un Moment d'Éternité dans le Passage du Temps, La Terrasse espace d'art de Nanterre, France (2014); An Exhibition on Withdrawing, Escaping and Dropping Out, Bureau Publik, Copenhagen (2014); No Country for Young Men, Palais Des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2014); Unstuck In Time, Te Tuhi, Auckland (2014); and More Light, Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013). Currently, Kozakis teaches at the Royal Academy of Liège.
What of our life? 2014
Digital video, black & white, no sound, 5'12"
© Nicolas Kozakis / Raoul Vaneigem